COVID 19 sparks 900% rise in demand for remote inspection of offshore rigs
Bureau Veritas is reporting a 900% rise in demand for the remote inspection of offshore assets and equipment since the outbreak of
the COVID 19 pandemic. The company says requests for its remote inspection, certification, examination and verification services has escalated from a ‘want’ to a ‘need’ this year as businesses seek to keep employees safe from the coronavirus. A number of remote inspection solutions are already in progress for operators and oilfield service companies and there have been in excess of twenty additional requests since the start of this year.
Inspections and verification are vital for offshore companies to comply with legislation and ensure the efficiency and performance of their assets and equipment. Through the use of mobile cameras and the existing personnel, Bureau Veritas employees can carry out these essential services remotely onshore, limiting close contact and reducing the need for travel.
Bureau Veritas has, along with respective clients, risk-profiled activities and identified which inspections can be performed remotely and which can’t to help operators and oilfield service companies plan for the year ahead, benefiting from direct and indirect savings as well as reducing carbon footprint in the process. Where physical inspection is unavoidable, an up-front technical and safety assessment underpins the reduction and/or elimination of risk at site.
Paul Shrieve, Vice President Offshore & Services at Bureau Veritas, explains, “Previously, the remote inspection of assets and equipment received a limited reception and was thought of as a good idea, something that the industry should get around to. Customers have been considering using remote inspection as an alternative way to meet the requirements of the Offshore Safety Directive (OSD) for some time. However, since the start of this year demand has greatly increased. It is no longer a want but a need.” An immediate health and safety benefit of remote inspection is the reduced potential for exposure to the coronavirus for clients and the company’s staff. Other advantages include reductions in personnel risk, time and cost by eliminating travel to client premises and helicopter travel to offshore installations, fewer on-site inspections, accommodation requirements, improved green credential and instant accessibility to a broad spectrum of subject matter experts qualified to perform the task.
The company’s remote inspection services are the first to have been reviewed by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS). This provides an essential assurance for duty holders in meeting the OSD requirements regarding remotely inspected mobile equipment on-board an installation. Furthermore, the Health and Safety Executive is being regularly informed of progress. Bureau Veritas’s remote services have specifically been designed to meet the HSE’s requirements and future intervention initiatives with the industry during the pandemic. Several major international companies from both the operator and service sectors are already using the company’s remote inspection services. Shell UK states, “An ongoing pilot with Shell UK is working towards establishing an end to end, remote-based verification process which Bureau Veritas will use to give duty holders assured confidence in meeting regulatory requirements.” “COVID 19 is demonstrating that working practices can not only be conducted in a more environmentally friendly manner but also, through technology, businesses can deliver in a much more effective and efficient way to achieve a quick turnaround”, says Mr Shrieve. “The world will never be the same again, nor should it be. At Bureau Veritas we have been very quick to take the learnings from COVID 19 and implement long-term changes that are both responsible and sustainable as everyone looks to adapt to the new normal.”